OCTA: Metro Manila remains at 'high-risk' for COVID-19

Published September 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

Catholic devotees stand outside the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene as they attend a Sunday mass during the fourth day of the Alert Level 4 implementation in the Metro Manila. (Ali Vicoy)

Metro Manila remains at “high-risk” classification for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but the region may soon improve to “moderate-risk” level within a week, the OCTA Research said Thursday, Sept. 30.

In its latest monitoring report, OCTA said the seven-day average of new cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) dropped by 17 percent to 3,891.

The region’s reproduction number, which refers to the number of people that an infected individual can infect, further decreased to 0.87 “which is considered low.”

Moreover, the independent research group noted that the positivity rate in the metropolis over the past seven days slipped to 18 percent from 21 percent the previous week.

“Using Covid Act Now guidelines, NCR remained at high risk but could possibly improve to moderate risk within a week,” OCTA said in its report.

According to OCTA, the risk levels they are using are based on covidactnow.org in the United States, which uses indicators such as average of infection, average daily attack rate (ADAR), intensive care unit occupancy, and positivity rate.

“This may not reflect alert level ratings used by the DOH (Department of Health),” the group said.

Based on the latest OCTA report, areas in NCR under high-risk level are San Juan, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Quezon City, Taguig, Parañaque, Marikina, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and Caloocan.

On the other hand, areas under moderate-risk level are Pateros, Valenzuela, Pasay, Malabon, Manila, and Navotas.

Photo from OCTA Research report on Sept. 30, 2021

In a recent Palace briefing, DOH Epidemiology Bureau Director Dr. Alethea De Guzman said Metro Manila remained under “moderate-risk” case classification for COVID-19.

De Guzman reported that the average daily reported cases in NCR averaged at 4,347 from Sept. 20 to 26, a decrease of 16 percent compared to the previous 5,145 cases recorded from Sept. 13 to 19.

Moreover, the region’s latest two-week growth rate stood at -13 percent, she added.

“Kung ito pong mga numerong ‘to ng NCR ang ating pagbabasehan, tayo po ay posibleng manatili pa sa Alert Level 4 (If these numbers of NCR are our basis, we will probably remain at Alert Level 4),” she said.

“Subalit, ang mga metrics natin at ang ating mga numero ay tuloy-tuloy nating pag-aaralan (However, we will continue to analyze our metrics and our numbers),” she added.

Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 4 starting Sept. 16 until Sept. 30.